Growing up, we are often taught that there is a certain path to success — and I am no exception. I grew up in a traditional Asian family where it was drilled into my head that a good career should be one where I can make a lot of money and preferably somewhere well-known. After putting in the hard work and excelling in school, I landed a lucrative job straight out of university as an investment banker at Citibank. A short while later, I rose to become the CEO of a Nasdaq-listed tech company, and for a while, I was living the definition of “success” I had always known. It was a good life until I started growing cynical and despising my work.
Taking The Leap from Investment Banking to Fashion Blogging
I sought for purpose in what I do every day and realized that making a lot of money without truly understanding why I was doing it was not sustainable in the long run. This urged me to make the jump from finance maven to fashion blogger, a bold move that not many would have enough grit to do. The decision to trade a stable and high-paying job for a passion project that might not work out is hard to make. But with a healthy amount of courage and a whole lot of perseverance, I breathed life to my own masterpiece in the form of The Ambitionista, a fashion and lifestyle brand for professional women, and now, Marque Media, a leading digital communications agency serving clients around the world. The work is intense, if not more than what I was used to, but I wake up every day motivated — and that made a world of a difference.
Empowering Women Through Flexible Work Opportunities
Through my all-around digital communications agency Marque Media, I have provided work-at-home opportunities for women across the globe. At my company, each team member is given a goal with definite parameters, the accompanying support, and training (that enable them to hone their craft), as well as the freedom to control their own time and output. There are no stifling rules, no “You have to be at the office from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.” Because of this flexibility, Marque Media can accommodate almost all the unique circumstances of each employee. If you are a mom who needs to help her children prepare for school in the morning and can only work after 10:00 AM or a daughter whose aging parents require assistance after lunch, you can arrange your work schedule however you want from Monday to Saturday.
This flexible set-up stems from my awareness that a lot of women and single mothers need to work, but because they have children, they are not able to utilize the opportunities out there. Childcare is expensive, and even if they do have childcare, children are always better off if they have more quality time with their mothers. I find fulfillment in hearing my team members say that one of the reasons they like working with me is that it allows them to grow professionally without sacrificing family time.
Redefining Success by Changing Women’s Lives
I am driven by two things: providing a transparent and value-added service for clients, and creating a conducive work environment for my team. Marque Media is still a startup, but I look forward to building and refining processes and benchmarking the best practices in the next couple of years.
My purpose took shape after founding my company. Having been blessed to have achieved a lot in my life, in large part due to my mentors and my supportive team, I resolved to provide an avenue to help other entrepreneurs, especially women entrepreneurs. If I could create a support system that empowers women, then I could give more meaning to Marque Media and the work we do. In my own small way, I change the lives of the people, particularly the women, I work with.
I’m proud and happy to say that I have redefined what success means to me: that is, finding a career that has a purpose and empowering women to do the same. Right now, I am focused on advocating for working women and encouraging women around the world to take charge of their lives and open their eyes to the wide array of possibilities available to them — without treating their circumstances as a mother or a woman as roadblocks to their advancement.